The trip to Antarctica is an idea born of the Council for Culture and Arts of Magellan in conjunction with the National Chilean Antarctic Institute within the program called Seal Region, which has as one of its objectives to present the Antarctic territory through art.
Mauricio Valencia traveled with two other regional artists, Andrea Araneda -visual artist- and Marcela Alcaino -regional goldsmith-. They toured the White Continent for six days, aboard the icebreaker “Almirante Oscar Viel”, being part of the INACH’s Antarctic Scientific Expedition No. 48.
They crossed the Bransfield Strait from the Chilean base O’Higgins to the station Gabriel Gonzalez Videla. They also visited Fildes Bay, where were the base Bellingshausen (Russia), Great Wall (China), and Chilean bases Escudero and Frei.
His paintings have always been inspired by the landscape of the region of Magallanes, exploring and visiting various sites and areas of Patagonia. This was the second trip from Mauricio Valencia to Antarctica; in 2010 he’d been tp Antarctica thanks to an award received from the Chilean Air Force, in the Second Version of the International Painting Contest Teraike.
“The trip definitely exceeded my expectations, and that allowed me to discover an incredible scene of nature, where you can feel a real connection between human beings and their environment, is an intense impression of contemplation, where the place overwhelmed to the point that make it, at many moments, vibrate with energy and be part of those icy landscapes”, he said.
He also could see that the light in Antarctica is different, more clearly and intens and that this significantly alters the colors: The Antarctic deep sea blue contrasting with the deep green – blue interior of the ice and continuous moving icebergs.
They lived many moments of contemplation, on the cliffs, ice, its fauna and even algae and lichens in many forms and hues. “The ideas that emerge at this time are many and it is complicated to summarize all that moves you”, he says, and recalls the shape and beauty of visualized floating ice from the icebreaker Oscar Viel of the Navy of Chile .
The trip deepened his interest in geography and continue along their everyday environment and eager to share their experiences and knowledge with his closest people, in first instance, painters and friends from the Art Workshop in the city of Punta Arenas that he runs.
The artist believes it would be fascinating to continue hearing the continent as it is very inspiring and enigmatic to all those who express themselves through art. “I also recommend it to anyone who wants to visit these scenarios driven by the real and instinctive desire to live with one of the few places on earth that still stand and remain at their highest state of splendor and purity,” he says.
“The possibility that children and young people develop through art their sensitivity to this issue and internalized more about this territory, is a great achievement that should lead to many more future discussions and reflection in all areas, on how we protect and take care of this amazing living landscape of nature”, he explains.
Nature has always been one of the most important activators of his paintings: “My perception from the realist painting, trying to recreate the majesty and splendor of the Antarctic ice”. The trip confirmed the importance of research and creative stage in the field and how to positively influence the consistency and expression of an art proposal.
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This was the first regional cultural expedition, which involved a group of artists as a collective. All this information and lived experience in the field will be displayed an art exhibition of three artists in the Mapocho Station in Santiago Chile.